The Cleveland Indians closed a disappointing 2012 season Wednesday night with a 9-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The Sox hammered five home runs off Cleveland pitching, including three by first baseman Dan Johnson. On the other side of the coin, Cleveland managed just five hits off Chicago pitching.
Johnson opened the scoring with a two-run homer in the second inning. Chicago added a run in the fourth on a Hector Gimenez single, then got a pair of two-run home runs from Johnson and Paul Konerko in the fifth. Two solo homers in the ninth closed out the game.
Cleveland starter David Huff took his first loss of the season, giving up seven runs in 4⅔ innings pitched. The Cleveland bullpen effectively handled the White Sox bats until the ninth, when Vinnie Pestano gave up the final two home runs.
Chicago pitcher Gavin Floyd threw seven scoreless innings, recording his twelfth win of the season in the process.
Cleveland finished the season at 68-94. Chicago, the American League Central runner-up, closes at 85-77.
A 1-1 pitchers' duel heading into the ninth inning turned into a slugfest, as both teams belted two-run homers to send the game into extra innings. The White Sox appeared to have the game won in the top of the ninth after left fielder Dayan Viciedo hit a two-run homer to break the tie and give Chicago starter Jake Peavy a lead for the first time in the ball game.
Cleveland pinch-hitter Travis Hafner then came off the bench to wake up the Indians' offense with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, tying the game at 3-3. Hafner's blast to right field knocked out Peavy, denying the right-hander a complete-game win opportunity after a strong performance through eight innings.
Cleveland reliever Chris Seddon (1-1) earned his first win of the season as he took care of the White Sox in order in the top half of the 12th inning, allowing Donald to play the role of hero in the bottom of the 12th.
The two teams will finish the season on Wednesday night starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Cleveland Indians will take on the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, one night after the White Sox were eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers. The struggling Justin Masterson (11-15, 5.03 ERA) will take the ball for the Indians for the final time this year, and will face off against Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.37 ERA). Masterson has been downright bad over his last six starts, good for a 1-4 record and 7.31 ERA over that stretch.
Needing to win their final three games to have a shot at the playoffs, the Chicago White Sox got off to a good start with an 11-0 win against the Cleveland Indians on Monday.
Chicago temporarily moves within two-and-a-half games of the Detroit Tigers who are currently leading the Tigers 6-2. If the Tigers win, they would clinch the American League Central and eliminate the White Sox from the playoffs.
Making just his fifth start of the season, Hector Santiago was dominant for Chicago. He pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out 10. The only hit Santiago allowed was a Shin-Soo Choo single in the third inning.
The White Sox failed to get on the board for the first five innings but provided Santiago plenty of run support with a four-run sixth inning. Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo all drove in runs for Chicago during the inning. The White Sox added one more run in the eighth inning before blowing it open with six runs in the ninth. Viciedo capped the scoring with a grand slam.
Corey Kluber started the game for the Indians, allowing four runs over 5-2/3 innings. The Indians' offense was able to muster just three baserunners.
The series will continue Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Whether or not the White Sox still have something to play for remains to be seen.